Things To Do in ClarensCannibal Trail
Where? St Fort Guest Farm, Clarens, Free State.
When? Please Enquire
How? Call +27 (0)58 256-1345
How much? Falls into price group R1 to R100 per person. Confirm with the provider.
This hiking trail, just outside Clarens, used to be known as the St Fort Trail until 2009, when it re-opened as the Cannibal Trail with a few changes. It is an easy two-day hike that is ideal for weekends and is easy enough for the whole family.
Situated in the Rooiberg and Witteberg Mountains, the trail is a circular 16 km route named the Cannibal Route because of a period in time during the early 1800s when there were a series of wars in the area between indigenous tribes that saw a fair number of them seeking refuge in the caves in these mountains. At the same time there was a widespread drought. Rumour has it that cannabalism was reinstated as a result.
What makes it all the more relevant is that one overnights in one of these very caves, known as Mike's Cave. Day one is a relaxed 9 km that takes roughly 5 hours to complete with plenty to entertain you along the route. There are very few hills other than at the start of the hike, and the route takes one through grassy plains, dry river beds, forests, rock pools and past five or so overhangs.
The overnight in the cave is by far the high point of the day, despite the wonderful scenery. You're given your own mattress and a groundsheet, tables and benches to sit on and even cold water showers and flush toilets. It's the closest you'll get to luxury in a cave.
The hike back is 7 km and easy to do, even if it starts with a climb up the mountain. From up there the views are incredible. After following the plateau you head back down into the valley and along the Caledon River.
The hike ends with enough time to still explore Clarens.